Nainoa Thompson Profile Image Ohana

Nainoa Thompson

Pwo Navigator; President – PVS

Honolulu, Oʻahu

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a Pwo navigator. Inspired by his kupuna (his teachers), he has dedicated his life to exploring the deep meaning of voyaging. Among many other important mentors, Yoshio Kawano took him at an early age to tide pools to explore the mysteries of the inshore ocean; Herb Kāne introduced him to the stars his ancestors used to navigate great ocean distances; and Pwo navigator Mau Piailug taught him to see the natural signs he would use to guide Hōkūleʻa, a replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe, throughout Polynesia. Nainoa’s father taught him the universal values of voyaging – of having a vision of islands rising from the sea, of self-discipline, preparation, courage, risk-taking, and the spirit of aloha that would bind a crew on arduous journeys. We are honored to partner with the Polynesian Voyaging Society through the Ama OluKai foundation and to call Nainoa a friend. Feature link format: